Hinterland regions in better position for COVID-19 management

-Parliamentary Secretary Browne

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Hon. Sarah Browne, today, said the hinterland regions are now better equipped to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic due to the strategies employed by the President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led administration.

The MP made this statement during her presentation at the 14th Sitting of the National Assembly of the Twelfth Parliament.

MP Browne recalled that when the pandemic reached Guyana earlier this year, the hinterland regions suffered immensely due to the incompetence of the APNU-AFC Government.

“While the Government was devising ways to steal our country, the virus quickly travelled from ground zero and our worse fears in the hinterland became a reality. In Moruca for example, we became the hot spot in the country and the numbers quickly climbed,” she said.

Noting that Region One and Seven were the most affected hinterland regions at the time, she recalled that the Coalition Government imposed complete lockdowns without providing any form of relief for residents, adding to their financial burden and mental distress.  This, she said, is contrary to claims by the now Opposition of the provision of support from the Agriculture Ministry.

“Sad to say, we in Region One – where I was residing at that time – have not seen any of those relief,” MP Browne said.

She added: “My friends and family took to the streets demanding better of the Government, demanding relief for food supplies, for increased testing and contact tracing and better systems and a better approach to facilitate persons trapped in nearby villages and backdams.”

MP Browne said the Coalition’s apathetic approach to the situation soon had residents doubting the presence of the disease in Guyana.   “With no direction from the Government, the people fell apart. The public health system fell apart, there was no support for the medical staff, the doctors were left without any direction as to how to move forward,” she explained.

Since the PPP/C Government came to office, she said, many of the fallouts have been cushioned by the health policies tabled by Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony.

Overall testing and contact tracing have increased in the regions.  Further, Operation COVI-CURB is also ongoing across the regions, educating and advising the populace on how to protect themselves from the disease. Thousands of residents have also received masks and other gear to protect themselves and hampers have been distributed to residents. Every household is also set to benefit from the Government’s COVID-19 cash grant of $25,000.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.